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tv   Fareed Zakaria GPS  CNN  February 19, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PST

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this is "gps" the global public square. welcome to all of you in the eyes and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria coming to you live from new york. today on the show, donald trump's white house in turmoil. the national security adviser has been fired. meanwhile, russia and north korea has taken bold steps. trump seems open to a one-state solution in the middle east. what is going on? i have three people who ran national security in the white house. three deputy national security adviser advisers to help explain. then russia's reaction to the firing of michael flynn and the underlying question, just how
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close is the kremlin to the trump team? and caroline kennedy. the former ambassador to japan on prime minister abe's visit with president trump and the role of women in the land of the rising sun. is but first here's my take. let's say you are a trump voter, the kind we hear about, an honest hardworking american who put up with trump's unusual behavi behavior because you wanted a president who would stop playing washington's political games, bring a businessman's obsession with action and results and focus on the economy. how's that working out for you? the first few weeks of the trump administration have been an illustration of that line from the writer alfred montalbert. do not confuse motion with progress, a rocking horse keeps moving but does not make
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progress. we are witnessing a rocking horse presidency in which everyone is jerking back and forth furiously yet there is no forward movement. since winning the election, donald trump has dominated the news nearly everyday. he has picked fights with the media, making a series of bizarre mostly false claims about the magnitude of his victory, the size of his inauguration crowd, the weather that day, the numbers of illegally-cast ballots among many other issues. now he's embroiled in a controversy about ties to russia. but in the midst of it all, what has he actually done. hardly anything. this week trump said at a news conference there's never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time. matthew iglesias of vox observed that at this point in his presidency president obama had signed into law an almost trillion dollar stimulus bill to revive the economy, extended health insurance to four million children and made it easier to
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challenge discriminatory labor practices. iglesias notes the trump white house has not even begun serious discussions with congress on major legislation. trump has issued a series of executive orders with great fanfare, though fewer than obama at this point. but they're mostly hot air. lofty proclamations that direct some agency to review a law, report back to him, consider some action or reaffirm a long standing practice. his one order that did something, the temporary travel ban, was so poorly conceived and phrase it got stuck in the court system and will have to be redone. what about plans to reindustrialize the midwest? bring back jobs? revive the coal and steel industries? what, for that matter, of the explicit commitments that "on day one" he would begin removing criminal illegal immigrants, get
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rid of gun free zones in military bases. all were problems, almost none has been done. there were two aspects to the trump presidency. there is the freak show, the tweets, the wild claims, the fake facts, the fights with anyone who refuses to bow down to him, media and judges included and the ceaseless self-promotion. then there's trump the savvy business person who named intelligent heavyweights like carry cohn, rex tillerson and james mattis to key positions and who at times articulated a serious reform agenda. for many people, the bargain of the trump presidency was that they would put up with the freak show in order to get tax reform, infrastructure problems and wise deregulation. that may still happen but for now, at least, rheeality tv is overdrive and not much is happening in the realm of serious public policy. the romans said the way to keep people happy was to give them
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bread and circus, sustenance and entertainment. so far all we have gotten in s the circus. for more, goo to and read my "washington post" column this week and let's get started. president trump is set to be interviewing candidates to be his national security adviser after michael flynn exited the post on monday night after just 23 days in office. one potential replacement has already turned down the job. meanwhile, at the end of the week, a shakeup at the state department left many career officers anxious about what their future will be. so who is running national security at the u.s. government? let's ask three people who have held top jobs doing just that. tony blinken, averil hanes and elliot abrams were deputy national security advisers and
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key positions in government. blinken was also deputy secretary of state under obama. he's now a global affairs analyst. hanes was previously the number two at the cia under obama. the first female deputy director at the agency and elliot abrams had many different senior roles at the national security council, including deputy national security adviser during the george w. bush administration. elliot, let me start with you to just ask you a question about your own personal story. you were effectively offered the deputy secretary of state job by rex tillerson, met with trump, with president trump and was then withdrawn. what happened? >> well, the president vetoed it which one has to say it's his absolute right to do. these are presidential appointments. but he looked back to the campaign and decided i'd been too critical of him during the campaign, during the primary fight and snowed to tillerson. but what i'm struck by is that there have been many people who
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were critical of donald trump, betsy devos, he met with paul singer who effectively funded the entire never trump campaign. so it seems as if you're a billionaire or general you can have criticized him but nobody else. >> well, i'm neat they are. >> tony blinken, let me ask you. the national security is run by the deputy committees, the deputy national security adviser shares the committee with the deputy secretary of state, deputy cia director. they run the government. push up the final decisions that need to be made by the president, secretary of state, et cetera. at this point you don't have a deputy secretary of state or
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defense, how is the government running? >> it's a great question. here's the thing, the national security council and all of its processes are the center of gravity for making foreign policy and when it's out of whack the policy will be out of whack. it starts with the personnel and the process. and there are four thing this is administration hasn't done and needs to do if it wants to get this back on track. they need a national security adviser and somebody who can bring people together who's an honest broker. they need to get all of the agencies in the room, state department, department, joint chiefs, energy, you name it, everyone has to be at the table. third, they need to listen and loop in the national security council staff. these are career professionals who know exactly what they're doing who have been marginalized to date and finally they have to check politics at the situation room door. this is one of the most troubling aspects. mr. bannon seems to be running a parallel processed divorced from the national security council to try to formulate policy.
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that is a recipe for ending up in a bad place. >> admiral, when you look at the issue of intelligence, one of the things friends of mine told me, sources in the intelligence community, is that they have in a sense probably -- the intelligence community has lost confidence in the president, it's rare to have the kind of leaks about connections with the trump campaign and russia. that something is going on in intelligence and law enforcement community that is making them resort to something they rarely do. >> yeah. the relationship between the intelligence community and the white house is critical. the intelligence community has to feel as if it's capable of telling the white house what it thinks in the best way possible. right now you see a lack of trust there that can affect,
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frankly, the degree of information and quality that comes into the white house so the president can make better decisions that are informed by the intelligence that are at his dispos disposal. >> can i just -- tomorrow is one month. and it's a mistake to take a snapshot and say the problem is that we're going to be in this position in the summer. it's the slow but they will be filled. june 1 you'll have the secretaries, undersecretaries, a functioning committee and those problems i think will be behind us. those are teething problems. >> i want to ask you what your reaction is to what you're seeing right now which is on the one hand at the munich security conference, the vice president, the secretary of defense making these various strong and very traditional reassurances of american policy restatements of
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american policy, we are with europe. and then you have trump at these campaign rallies in florida seemingly still suggesting a very different kind of gestalt. it seems he's outside the government. >> well, that's certainly what they perceived. i like your speech, mr. pence, i like your speech general mattis but do you really represent the president, is the question. and with the exception of theresa may, none have met the president. one would hope in the course of this six months, the president goes to a nato summit or meets individually with european leaders and get a commitment to nato directly from him the way theresa may got it. so the hope would be, yeah, this is what's happening in the first month. it's natural with a unique candidate and president like
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trump but it will get better, not worse, that would be the ho hope. stay with us. when we come back, we'll talk about actual policy. what does the trump white house have to decide on foreign policy in the next few weeks? stay right here. we'll be right back. lifitegrast ophthalmic solution. the first eye drop approved for the signs and symptoms of dry eye. one drop in each eye, twice a day. common side effects include eye irritation, discomfort or blurred vision when applied to the eye, and an unusual taste sensation. do not touch the container tip to your eye or any surface. remove contacts before using xiidra and wait for at least 15 minutes before reinserting them. if you have dry eyes, ask your doctor about xiidra. ♪sweet, sweet st. thomas nice. ♪ so nice, so nice. ♪st. croix full of pure vibes. ♪ so nice, so nice. ♪ st. john a real paradise.
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at first, getting paid was tough... until she got quickbooks. now she sends invoices, sees when they've been viewed and-ta-dah-paid twice as fast for free. visit quickbooks-dot-com. and we are back with tony blinken, avril haines and elliott abrams, all former deputy national security advisers. tony, one of the pieces of news that we're getting as we sit here discussing this is that mosul appears to be falling or falling more -- iraqi troops are moving in, the u.s. effort seems to be paying off. don't we have a series of
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important decisions to make about what happens next and particularly who will govern the spaces being liberated from isis? >> fareed, that's right. we are on the verge with our partners on the ground in iraq and syria in taking away the so-called caliphate that isil has tried to establish. that's going to have a critical impact on their ability to continue to do what they've been doing. it will take away the space to send foreign fighters to, the resources they've been exploiting, that's being squeezed and it undermines their narrative of building the state so we're at a moment where we are on the verge of being able to at least get to the defeat of daesh, isil, in iraq and syria with mosul in iraq, raqqah in syria. there are critical questions about pursuing that campaign including what to do about raqqah, who's going to take that city, are we going to go ahead and arm some of the kurdish fighters on the ground working with arab fighters to take rack a a? how are we going to proceed?
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s a critical questions about, as you said, the stabilization and governance of cities that are newly liberated. the obama administration handed off a detailed coherent convincing plan to the trump administration across the board, hui hope is the trump administration will take that up and implement it. >> avril when you look at the count terrorism operation in yemen that seems to have gone awry, do you think that could be the lack of staffing and coordination or was it bad luck, sometimes these operations go well, sometimes that go badly. >> it's hard to tell. i don't know exactly what came to the president, what was approved by him and how it was dealt with. what i would say is part of what you were discussing earlier about the structure of the nsc and how it's being implemented
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in the process they're engaged in come into play here which is to say if you run a process that is stable and transparent than you end up having an integrated policy and one in which departments and agencies who are responsible are able to raise issues, bring them up and make clear to the white house here are the things where we need to interface with our sister agencies and departments and in the way the yemen count terrorism operation played out, i think one of the questions that we had was whether or not the state department was as involved as they should have been in rolling out that kind of an operation and ensuring that things go well because they have a critical role to play and there were at least reports that they weren't as involved as you might expect them to be. and that could have led to, for example, some of the frictions that went on with yemen of the
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operation but i couldn't tell you whether or not we would have done things differently under the circumstances, whether we would have proved that came up because i don't know what was approved and how they were dealing with it. >> elliott abrams, not being encumbered by these pro kroburec procedures can help. you thought trump's attitude on the two-state solution could be refreshing. explain. >> well, what he said in the press conference with prime minister netanyahu was one state, two state, whatever you agree we can do. that's the right attitude because the goal is peace and there can be many paths to peace. and netanyahu seemed to surprise the president by revealing what they're thinking which was this so-called outside in approach. you don't make peace between israelis and palestinians and go to the arab states. you go to the arab states first
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and try to get their help on an israeli palestinian peace deal which is perfectly sensible and worth trying. i'm a skeptic myself. i think what we saw in that press conference was a willingness to undertake a new approach which is refreshing. >> tony blinken, very quickly. one final thought about russia policy. is the administration boxed in? can it do much on russia with all eyes pointing and looking at donald trump? what if there were a sensible amount of cooperation that could be done with russia? won't everybody wonder is donald trump doing this because he's the manchurian candidate and putin has something on him? >> at the end of the da fareed it's always this, do the right thing. yes, maybe there's a box the administration has put itself in but the question is is the administration going to stand up to russian efforts to basically undermine the entire liberal
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international order. that's what's going on and yes there are areas where we can and should cooperate with russia but mr. putin seems bent to try to take on the system that defines us. if we're not ready to stand up to that, we'll have a big problem. our friends in europe are experiencing an acute sense of whiplash, they've heard good things in the past couple days from the secretary of defense, the vice president and the secretary of state. then theyer that the opposite, often in a tweet storm, coming from the president. the most troubling thing to them is that at the very time when they're being challenged in europe, a threat to liberal democracy from profoundly ill liberal actors supported by mr. putin we continue to seem to stand occasionally with mr. putin and the president's attacks on the media, on the press are deeply deeply frightening to europeans who are being challenged by a threat to liberal democracy. >> we have to leave it at that. up next, the russian side of all
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>> let's dig in deeper now to the flynn resignation and the russian side of the story. what is moscow's relationship with the trump campaign and what is russia's take on this whole situation? joining me now from moscow is sergey karaganov. he's widely cited as a leading foreign policy expert in russia and has advised vladimir putin himself. mr. karaganov, how are people in russia reacting to the stories and the news that russian intelligence services were in constant contact with the trump campaign and to the reports about flynn and the russian ambassador? >> we view that with kind of dismay, disgust and sympathy. sympathy towards americans who have to retort to this kind of wild games in the internal
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affairs. of course i am not in any way connected with intelligence but i assume that the general has never been anywhere close to being connected with russian intelligence. >> do you think that there are any connections that trump has with russia that we should know of? what do you make of those reports? >> to the extent i know, there were no serious connections fortunately or unfortunately. now i would say fortunately because of the heat of the fight within your country all connection which is you would have had would have been to the detriment of russia and your preside president. >> do you think there have been reports that russia has gotten good at cyber warfare in general in western europe, in the united states? do you give credence to these reports? >> i hope russia is very good in
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cyber warfare because cyber warfare is one of the ways to deter -- all partner possibles and defend enemies. i do not believe unfortunately that we are that important in playing any role in american internal affairs and it would have been too humiliating for the united states to accept that even though of course you have this strange debate. personally i would have loved that russians would have interfered like that. our american portners should be educated that they live in the crystal palace and they should stop interfering into internal affairs of other countries, should stop regime changes, et cetera. i mean if we do that that would be a great lesson for americans. i'm not sure whether we're table to do that.
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>> you have a new essay out in russian global affairs in which you point out -- and i think you're speaking for the russian foreign policy elite, that hillary clinton was viewed particularly negatively as a symbol of liberal interventionism, of ne neo-conservati neo-conservatism, as a kind of expansionist foreign policy that tried to maintain america's central status in the world. is that true? >> that is true that is true. they have lost in the previous decade and they are eager to make an advance. they were dangerous and though mr. trump is unpredictable and it looks like the point of some
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fresh air. otherwise we would have been doomed to rough and dangerous competition. >> you say in the essay that you think the american built liberal world order is eroding perhaps crumbling. do you see trump as helping end that order because he wants to withdraw america from that kind of leadership role? he's not particularly keen on the nay co-guerkoe nato karen g. where do you see trump fitting in? >> mr. saa care fareed zakaria, know where he's going. their liberal order, or i would say liberal disorder which you have introduced by the united states and the allies since the '90s has crumbled.
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donald trump is one of the results of this collapse. the question where he leads the country. i believe he could lead the united states in becoming a more powerful nation if and when he's allowed to do that. whether that's good for russia i'm not sure because we will be competitors even if we understand each other and cooperate at margins. but the order which the united states tried to introduce since the '90s has collapsed. >> what do you imagine the relationship between a trump administration and the pew tim kaine administration will be? i know you're right we can't predict but what is your sense? >> my sense is that unfortunately your country is
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divided. mr. trump will be fighting. he is a good fighter it seems but we don't know whether he survives political or else eventually we could have some cooperative relationship if we understand our interests properly and act on the interest. >> so at the end of the day are you optimistic? >> i'm much more optimistic than several years, two three years ago. russia is winning. it has restored its might and it has restored its possibility to deter and we are leading towards a more balanced world. >> sergey karaganov, pleasure to have you on, sir. >> it was a great pleasure, too. next on gps, bibi netanyahu and donald trump both bitterly oppose the iran deal. but both sidestepped all questions about tearing it up at their press conference this week. why? we'll tell you.
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. now for our what in the world segment? >> it's the art of the deal. >> benjamin netanyahu was all smiles and giggles at the white house this week. the israeli prime minister's tone was very different during his last trip to washington in march of 2015. back then, bibi netanyahu made an impassioned plea to a joint session of congress imploring them not to approve president obama's nuclear agreement with iran. he put it in stark terms saying israel's very existence would be jeopardized if congress passed that deal. >> i feel a profound obligation to speak to you about an issue that could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people. iran's quest for nuclear weapons. >> he predicted disaster if the deal went through. it did. and it's been more than a year now. did bibi's predictions come true? . no. first iran has kept its side of
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the bargain, that's according to the international atomic energy agency, the u.n. watchdog of scientists and experts tasked with enforcing the agreement and monitoring iran's nuclear program. the iaea verified that iran is in compliance with the agreement and confirms that iran has eliminated 97% of its enriched uranium, removed two-thirds of its centrifuges and has taken out the core of a nuclear reactor capable of making weapons-grade plutonium, rendering it inoperable. back in 2016, "the forward" recorded israel's top general, its military chief of staff actually said the that iran deal was good for israel and that "it has removed the greatest threat to israel's existence." reuters reports that israeli officials privately acknowledged that netanyahu would not advocate ripping up a deal that has been emphatically reaffirmed
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by the other big signatories -- britain, france, russia, germany and china. at his press conference with trump, netanyahu asked what changes he wanted made to the deal but skipped that part of the question. trump, who promised on his campaign trail to tear up the deal has forgotten that promise as well. peter beinart pointed out in the forward that netanyahu well understood the nuclear deal was a good one back in 2015 but he had his reasons to focus on it. netanyahu exaggerated iran's nuclear capacity but h he also knew israel had a powerful deterrent, its own large nuclear arsenal which could deliver a nuclear weapon straight to the heart of downtown tehran. beinart said what concerns netanyahu more was that iran was becoming a regional threat, threatening israel's eastern flank. remember iran also supports israel's arch rival hezbollah, which constantly threatens that
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country's northern border. americans who oppose the iran deal like donald trump don't even have this strategic rationale. they have never admitted to being wrong about the iran deal but none of them is clammering to tear up an agreement that so far has frozen iran's nuclear program in a way no previous policy was able to. up next, caroline kennedy, daughter of john f. kennedy. she was president obama's ambassador to japan. she will join me to talk about prime minister abe's visit to the white house and mar-a-lago last weekend and much more. that's me. then out of nowhere...crying. third time that day. i wasn't even sad. first the stroke, now this.
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president trump hosted prime minister shinzo abe, whom he incorrectly called prime minister shinzo in a tweet at his club/resort/residence in florida last weekend mar-a-lago
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played host to an unusual scene of international diplomacy. president trump with abe sitting next to him took a phone call telling him north korea launched a ballistic missile. both men preceoceeded to read documents with flashlights on cell phones raising concerns about information security and protocol. what to make of trump and abe's first meeting? joining me now is caroline kennedy. she was ambassador to japan from november, 2013, when she presented her credentials to emperor akihito until trump was elected. what do you make of abe? he seems a very different man from donald trump? >> well, i think that he has proven to be an incredibly stable leader and great partner for the united states so that he and the new president spent so much time together was very important for japan but also very useful for a president.
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now y >> you see a very different japan. what has changed in the last five to seven years? >> i think the relationship between the u.s., u.s. military and japan is still something that is a difficult issue. however, the region is changing so our presence there is the key to stabili to stability in the region and the japanese government recognizes that, so do other countries in the region. what's changed is china. >> they see the rise of china and suddenly the united states looks like a useful partner. >> right. right. then you have a north korean provocation and threat and number of missile tests, missile launches, nuclear tests has been increasing steadily under the new leader and we saw one last weekend as you said so i think
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everybody is -- as a short term threat that's number one then you have china as the longer term challenge. >> president trump spoke about how maybe japan could get nuclear weapons. i know from my readings and visits to asia, the japanese were taken aback by this. how was that interpreted and are the japanese even thinking about going nuclear? >> well, the japanese public -- i can tell you have having accompanied president obama to hiroshima and the outporioutpoid the ongoing support on president obama's work on disarmament, that's an issue that resonates incredibly strongly with the japanese public as well as the government and prime minister abe has said repeatedly that would never happen. >> on your watch there were two memorable visits, obama went to
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hiroshima and abe went to pearl harbor. was this part of a decision by the two countries to sort of try to bury the past? what's going on here? help us understand the symbolism? >> well, i think we also celebrated in between those for the 70th anniversary of the end of the war and i think that year was marked by a series of commemorative events and the prime minister's address to a joichbt meeting of congress was i think one of the centerpieces as well as his statement at the end of the war and i think what you really saw was japan becoming more of a player on the world stage under prime minister abe traveling throughout the region trying to play a greater role in humanitarian assistance, development assistance to countries in the region and this was part of that effort as well as just the progress of the alliance and i think americans often take for granted what is going on or we don't hear much
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about it because it's all going well but the work that has been done over the last 70 years to bring our countries closer, the work being done now to bring japan and korea closer, partly to cooperate in the face of an increasingly tense regional environment but also just to the publics in both countries support reconciliation, friendship and moving >> when i've gone to japan, i still find that most of the rooms you go into, it's all men and women tend to often stand and be seen more than heard. it's fairly traditional in many ways. obviously you wouldn't experience that because you're a superstar and you're the ambassador, but did you feel like there was different -- that there was something -- that you could do something about it? >> well, i think what i felt was that just being a woman and being -- having the access and
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being able to work on these issues, i think, was inspiring to the broader japanese public and made them maybe help them look at women as possibly being able to make a contribution and under this government in japan and now, i think, with their demographic challenges, women are increasingly taking leadership roles. the governor of tokyo was just selected and the head of the opposition party is a woman, and so i think that people say that even though change is just pain stakingly slow there and there's a lot of frustration, that maybe this time they will make progress in a sustained way. >> in this country, no matter what you do, you are always john f. kennedy's daughter. is that true in japan as well? >> oh, absolutely. >> do you keep getting asked questions? >> absolutely. well, i think being the first ambassador, i think, to be a daughter or son, child of a pacific war veteran also had tremendous meaning. and president kennedy was really
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popular in japan just because his presidency coincided with japan sort of coming out of the first phase of the post war period, so i felt like i was walking into a room where people were just so happy to see me and i think that i brought to that also kind of a great commitment by president baum and really a willingness to engage by japan who had a lot of things they wanted to accomplish so i felt really fortunate that i was me, as i always do, but also that i was in that place at that time. >> caroline kennedy, pleasure to have you on. >> thank you. next on "gps" people are taking to the streets again in france. it's not marie antoinette they are protesting. i'll explain when i come back.
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fake facts are not just an invention of this white house or this country. we often hear that the economic numbers coming out of china might not be accurate. specifically, local governments have been accused of inflating economic data in order to meet
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high growth targets. we now have some estimates from reuters as to the scale of the exaggeration. in 2016, how much larger was china's gdp as reported by the provinces compared to the central government number? 4 billion, 20 billion, 40 billion or 400 billion dollars larger? stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer. instead of a book recommendation this week, i have a very exciting announcement to make. you can now get your global public fix six days a week. my colleagues and i have just launched fareed's global briefing. once you subscribe to this newsletter, every weekday you'll receive what the staff and i believe are the best insights and analysis about the world today. on sundays, you'll get an update on what to expect on the show that day. we've made it very simple to subscribe. go to and look for the subscribe link.
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i think you'll find this daily dose of gps very useful and helpful in an ever more complex and crazy world. and now for the last look. riots in the streets. clashes with police. vehicles engulfed in flames. protests both peaceful and violent have rocked french cities and suburbs this month. they ignited over the french police's alleged beating and rape of a 22-year-old black man. the case currently under investigation garnered national attention and has increased racial tensions across the country as calls for justice were shouted in the streets. president holland put out a picture of himself visiting with him in the hospital, and candidates in the upcoming presidential election weighed in too. most strikingly the far right called for a crackdown on rioters who she referred to as scum.
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these protests could galvanize her base if the violence escalates while moderates will have to balance earning voters' trust with the risk of alienating law enforcement. i think the violence tells us of a larger frustration in france today. the french sociologist points out every candidate has been knocked out of the election so far, from president holland to the leader of the greens to former president sarkozy to former prime minister. like in so many places these days, france is a country where they just want to throw the bums out. the correct answer to the gps challenge question is d. the discrepancy between cumulative, provincial and national gdp data in 2016 was $400 billion, according to reuters. roughly the equivalent of thailand or norway's gdp. but the days of fake numbers, well, may be numbered. this week the head of china's
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national bureau of statistics vowed to severely punish those responsible for creating these alternative facts. perhaps we need an agency like that right here in the united states. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week, and i will see you next week. hello, everyone, thank you for joining us this sunday. i'm fredricka whitfield. we start this hour with an urgent plea from sweden to the u.s. government, asking what is your president talking about? here's why sweden is asking. >> you look at what's happening in germany, you look at what's happening last night in sweden, sweden, who would believe this? sweden. they took in large numbers, they're having problems like they never thought possible. >> president trump at his rally in florida saturday talking about ada